Bungie Interview: Destiny’s Tracking Rifles Could Take Legendary Leap

Just over a week after Destiny Showcase, we know a lot more about The witch queen expansion and year 5 of Destiny 2 than we did before. And from talking to Game Director Joe Blackburn and General Manager Justin Truman last week, we got new information on Weapon and Glaive Crafting, Raids, Hive Guardians, and Subclass Mods. But to round out our interview series, it’s time to talk about Destiny’s soul: weapons.

We spoke to the developer duo about whether the exclusive and exclusive weapons will remain exotic forever, the limitations of exotic catalysts, and the return of Gjallarhorn.

Legendary tracking rifles could be on the horizon

The Eververse ornament for Ager's Scepter Tracking Rifle

Ager’s Scepter Ornament is now visible in-game.
Image: Bungie via Polygon

Destiny 2 has obtained a variety of unique exotic species in the last four years. But several of them fall into the same type of unique weapon: tracking rifles. Tracking rifles are like automatic rifles, but they fire in a single continuous beam and use the rarer special ammunition. Players started with Coldheart in Destiny 2release and have since collected Prometheus Lens, Wavesplitter, Divinity, Ruinous Effigy, and soon Ager’s Scepter. Despite having six weapons that function similarly, there are no Legendary Tracking Rifles in Destiny 2. But that could be changing.

“You can look back on our record here,” Blackburn said. “And you can say things like ‘Hey, I remember when swords were just exotic,’ right? ‘Hey, I remember when there was only one weapon in the game.’ This is something that, as we explore, we are very excited to push some of them forward. “

Blackburn went on to mention that some exotic-only weapons must remain exotic to remain unique. The Legend of Acrius and Tractor Cannon shotguns, which stand side by side as the only shotguns that use heavy ammunition, are unique. Being in the Heavy slot makes those weapons exotic. But not all “unique” exotics fall into that category.

“Dead Man’s Tale is great, huh?” Blackburn said. “Coldheart is great. These are all things that we look at in the future and say, yeah, we’re as excited as the community is about a lot of it. “

Truman expanded on this idea: “The question we ask ourselves a lot is, like, ‘Do we want this to be a really unique and personalized experience? Or do we want this to be a space where we can play? ‘So if we expanded one of those [weapon types] we wouldn’t release a Legendary, we’d say ‘Oh, this is an amazing space for us to post a huge amount.’ But I think some of them are definitely like, no, it’s cool to have this interesting exception to the rule. “

For Bungie, it seems to be a question of “What makes this weapon exotic?” If it’s the slot or the special archetype itself, maybe that type is always limited to Exotics. But it looks like trace rifles, and even lever-action scout rifles like Dead Man’s Tale, could get legendary versions sooner rather than later.

Exotic Catalysts and the Orb or Power Problem

Destiny 2 Thorn Guide

Thorn, a beloved weapon that does not yet have a catalyst
Bungie via Polygon

Early in Destiny 2In his lifetime, Bungie added Exotic Catalysts to the game, a way that players can upgrade certain Exotics. But even better than the new perks, Exotic Catalysts also cause multi-kills with exotic weapons to drop Orbs of Power, which players can use to charge their Super and activate other perks. This makes Exotic Catalysts highly desirable at all levels of play, but makes it difficult to justify equipping an Exotic that Bungie has not yet given to a Catalyst.

“There are some really different and interesting solutions to that problem space,” Blackburn said. “[…] While we’re not ready to talk about them at the moment, we’re well aware of things like ‘hey, Thorn can’t spawn orbs or Anarchy, not that Anarchy needs another reason to be cool, but a lot of people, for a while, the resounding cry was’ can you just give anarchy a catalyst? All you would have to do is give him orbs. I like it, listen. Anarchy is good enough without the orbs, you can take the disadvantage here. But yeah, that’s something we think about. ”

While Blackburn doesn’t suggest a specific solution to the Thorn, or Anarchy problem, which has since been nerfed, it appears that Bungie is working to find a way to make non-Catalyst exotics viable.

Why Gjallarhorn, why now?

Bungie's 30th Anniversary Dungeon

Players will need to loot the famous Loot Cave to obtain Gjallarhorn
Image: Bungie

A big surprise from the Destiny Showcase was Bungie’s 30th anniversary event and the announced return of the Gjallarhorn rocket launcher. To close our interview with Destiny 2two clues, we ask why Gjallarhorn comes to Destiny 2 after such a long pause.

“One of the questions we asked ourselves, when we started to see what a 30th anniversary celebration would look like is, ‘What are those moments that we really want to call back on this journey, the experience we’ve had without players?” Truman said. “And two that immediately jumped out was the loot cave experience at the beginning of Destination 1, and the […] Exotic defining moment in which you understood what Gjallarhorn was. “

At Bungie’s 30th Anniversary Event, which begins December 7, players will dive into a new dungeon based on the original’s Loot Cave. Destiny – a glitch that allows players to farm equipment, essentially by shooting into a cave. Players will enter the dungeon and emerge with Gjallarhorn, the series’ most iconic weapon, left behind in the original game.

As for what Gjallarhorn brings to the table, Blackburn sees it as the great EQ: “Even if it’s not ‘Hyper S-tier, good at everything,’ Gjallarhorn is the opportunity for us to add what you get when you get for someone new to Destiny, you say, ‘Okay, what we’ll do first is get you out of New Light, run this dungeon, and get Gjallarhorn.’

Blackburn compared Gjallarhorn to an easy-to-learn champion in League of Legends, Master Yi. Blackburn is essentially saying that Gjallarhorn is idiot-proof, just like Master Yi. You don’t need to hit critical, you don’t need to know how many Anarchy bolts to hit a boss; With Gjallarhorn, you aim, shoot, reload, and repeat until you run out of ammo or (most likely) the boss is dead.

“You can use [Gjallarhorn] in a lot of situations and don’t be disappointed, “said Blackburn. It’s a way to make a new player, of any skill level, feel useful on 99% of the content almost immediately. That’s the true Gjallarhorn experience, and it’s what Bungie aims to deliver.


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